MT Senate 2014: The Make-Up Ad

Happy Monday! We’re in the dog days of summer and there’s no sign of letting up in the senate campaign ad wars between U.S. Senator John Walsh (D) and Congressman Steve Daines (R).

Except for a few diehards, most folks are not watching television that much – they are outside enjoying Montana. Most people will start getting interested in politics again after Labor Day.

That has not stopped the Walsh and Daines campaigns from rolling out new ads. Today I take a look a new ad from the Daines campaign called “Injustice.”

Over the past two months there has been quite a negative reaction in the newspapers and on the internet about the Daines’ ads called “Personal Gain” and “Mistreated.” In my opinion, they were swiftboat-style attacks on Walsh’s military career. These negative ads were run by the Daines campaign even after Daines had recommended Walsh to the President of the United States for a position on the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force a little over a year ago.

Many veterans don’t like it when a fellow veteran is attacked.

After those ads aired and the criticism toward Daines started I wrote, “In the coming months look for (Daines) to parade out the few veterans who still support him to try to regain their respect and votes.”

And just like that, the Daines campaign released a new ad called “Injustice” about his work on an issue dealing with veterans.

In the ad, a U.S. Navy veteran named George Blackard talks about Daines helping when several deceased veterans in Billings were not getting headstones. Blackard says Daines “was one of the first to speak out” and that “he took swift action; he got a commitment from the VA to fix the problem.” The ad shows Daines talking to veterans. The source for this ad listed on the screen is a Billings Gazette story dated 11/26/13.

So I read the story. The first person listed in the article as helping with the situation was U.S. Jon Tester, D-Mont. It was mentioned later in the article that Daines “also pressured the VA National Cemetery Administration about the policy…”

It’s normal for the members of the congressional delegation to be working on the same issue – trying to be the one who solves the problem first – and gets the credit (and publicity).

This was a quick attempt by Daines to make-up or patch things up with veterans because he is on shaky ground with them. Look for American Crossroads to help Daines even more with this problem later in the summer.

I give the Daines ad “Injustice” a seven out of ten.


## END ##



  1. Given the “dog days” of summer, perhaps the Daines people will use this for an ad.

    • Craig – Yes that might help him. It’s terrible that the VA is not letting these veterans in with the service animals.

      The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that service animals be allowed in any public places. The USDOJ says “The ADA defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If they meet this definition, animals are considered service animals under the ADA regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government.

      Daines should have called the acting director of the MT VA right then and there and gotten to the bottom of it.

      Thanks again for visiting and for your comments.


      • The other day I saw a man in a store with a white parrot on his shoulder. He wasn’t a pirate so I assumed he was a vet with his service animal. First time seeing a parrot in this situation.

        Now as to what Daines should have done, doesn’t it strike you a bit odd that Walsh, the man with the military experience, is not leading this? Seems congruous with his actions on the air force training area to have another swing and a miss.

      • Craig:

        I have no idea if Walsh was contacted about it or not, so it is not odd to me. As long as it’s taken care of that is what matters. If Walsh has an aggressive staff, they should already be on it from reading the story today. Daines has a lot of making up to do as I said in my column. It’s evident from the latest poll that what he has done is not working too well – and that poll did not ask about the Libertarian candidate so it’s probably a little closer than seven points.

        What has happened is that while trying to destroy Walsh, the overly aggressive and negative approach from the Daines campaign has hurt Daines more than help him. It’s time for Daines and his team to cancel the vacations and bring all hands on deck! It’s gonna be fun to watch and write about!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: